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Dinh Y Nhi

Dinh Y Nhi

Dinh Y Nhi

SECURITY

6 - 28 June, 2009

Dinh Y Nhi SECURITY 6 - 28 June, 2009

Published 2009 by Thavibu Gallery Co., Ltd Silom Galleria, Suite 308 919/1 Silom Road, Bangkok 10500, Thailand Tel. 66 (0)2 266 5454, Fax. 66 (0)2 266 5455 Email. info@thavibu.com, www.thavibu.com

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SECURITY

by Shireen Naziree

Though Vietnam’s art scene gained new currency after the implementation of Doi Moi, the easing of its socialist policies and market reforms in 1986, the evocation of its cultural narrative has largely turned towards a romantic past while its history pushes forward with political, economic and cultural considerations that have dictated various strategies of reconstruction. Though the relationship between material fact and illusion, structure and space have become a shared language that compels many artists today, the formalism in Vietnamese contemporary art practices does not readily embrace commentary that is personal or socially critical.

As with many contemporary thinkers, Dinh Y Nhi rejects the notion of collective memory and its links to a past which unite many of her contemporaries in a reassuring cult of remembrance. Instead, her artistic practice has evolved from questioning the position of women in her Vietnamese society and by withholding any solace, her imagery distils any stereotyped considerations of her gender. Since her graduation from the Hanoi University of Fine Arts in 1989, Nhi has pioneered a practice that has applied conceptual strategies to visual considerations. And maybe more than any other Vietnamese woman artist of her generation, she has earned her place amongst the most influential post Doi Moi artists to have emerged.

As the daughter of prominent artist Dinh Truong Khang, Nhi developed an intimate knowledge of art’s formalism very early in her career. However, because conventional art critical approaches were premised on the formal appearance of physical subjects, they failed to register and assess crucial aspects of the contextual nature of her dialogue, thereby challenging traditional boundaries within a culture where mainstream value systems remain conservative.

Amongst Dinh Y Nhi’s earlier works are depictions of women that, while intimate, feel charged with a rough emotional urgency. The atmosphere recurs in SECURITY where Nhi succeeds in turning her subjects into a kind of painterly residue that is recognizably material of an external world, but still feminine and unmistakably sexual beings. Totally unapologetic about any perceived notions about Vietnamese women, her use of raw colour, manipulation of depth and the fusion of simplified forms – her work is distinguished by a balance of incisive draftsmanship and painterly modelling.

Several works assert the transformative nature of the artist’s relationship of art production to her cultural world. Though in much of this body of work, a conventionally defined subject remains elusive - in its place the artistic

Security (9) , 2008 Oil on canvas 120 x 160 cm process itself emerges both
Security (9) , 2008 Oil on canvas 120 x 160 cm process itself emerges both

Security (9), 2008

Oil on canvas 120 x 160 cm

process itself emerges both as the structure and subject of Nhi’s practice. While Nhi’s painterly concerns are chiefly formal, her logic contains the potential for a deeper, more fertile engagement of her subjects.

The patented combination of informality and symbolic charge in the art of Dinh Y Nhi reflect a sense of how social reality and the dream world express each other. Nhi links desire and personal violation in ever changing ways – at times adopting a preferred consistency of thought and morality of art as a code of being. As such her works are about the notion of mirroring such as in Security (9). By embracing the complexity of her subject’s experience – the viewer can also move beyond the limitations of static vision.

The artist’s perception of sanctioning the moralities and ethics that define “security” may be further located in works such as Security (15) – which like most of the works in this series is at times rendered in arresting red taints that suggest the physical and emotional connection women have with their bodies and the experience of being secure within oneself: these images encompass simple gestures and appropriations that despite their visual economy evince sincere sensibilities. At the same time, by combining an acute sense of respect in what might be termed the formal characteristics of feeling – Nhi manages to situate her own emotional connection with her subjects at the centre of her practice, while avoiding the sentimental or the naive. For if relational aesthetics concern the economy of human intimacy, then Nhi’s enquiries extend beyond any personal realm – but extending itself into a public domain.

Security (15) , 2008 Oil on canvas 109 x 150 cm Security (3) , 2008
Security (15) , 2008 Oil on canvas 109 x 150 cm Security (3) , 2008

Security (15), 2008

Oil on canvas 109 x 150 cm

Security (15) , 2008 Oil on canvas 109 x 150 cm Security (3) , 2008 Oil
Security (15) , 2008 Oil on canvas 109 x 150 cm Security (3) , 2008 Oil

Security (3), 2008

Oil on canvas 87 x 140 cm

109 x 150 cm Security (3) , 2008 Oil on canvas 87 x 140 cm Security
109 x 150 cm Security (3) , 2008 Oil on canvas 87 x 140 cm Security

Security (8), 2009

Oil on canvas 80 x 96 cm

Nhi often frames her subjects as in Security (3), thus allowing the careful viewer to contemplate and question their own sense or idea of security when confronted with an alienated public domain which often dictates our ‘civilised’ daily lives and thus disrupting the safe space of self. As such, Nhi explores territory and principles that lie beneath the surface and through its dimensions underline not only our insecurities but the social dynamics that enforces them.

Nhi is evidently less interested in rehashing theories of the male gaze here, but rather how the human eye and memory form an ideal, creating a desire for identification. The dynamic in a depiction such as in Security (8) suggests an abstract connection between the female character housed in a socially trapped body and someone she has lost or yearning for, or in more overt terms, reinforcing the ideal feminine objectification of being delicately pretty.

Dinh Y Nhi has spent much of her practice surveying the female psyche and through SECURITY she offers an opportunity to examine the inner characteristics that deliberate feminism. From early in her career, she wanted her art to rise above the opposition between narrative and abstraction. While she continuously challenges herself with line and colour, the world of her art does not refer to renouncing any relationship to reality. Her colours are most often very primary and the randomness of application has become part of her equation that emphasise her expressions of straight forward thought and reasoning. This deliberate restriction of her palette refers to more than emphasizing her subjects; it not only creates a temporal distance but allows for text and imagery to unite on a single plain – allowing each viewer to decide on how to read into her paintings.

Security (1) , 2009 | Oil on canvas | 90 x 140 cm 6 S

Security (1), 2009 | Oil on canvas | 90 x 140 cm

Security (2) , 2008 | Oil on canvas | 120 x 150 cm S E

Security (2), 2008 | Oil on canvas | 120 x 150 cm

Security (3) , 2008 | Oil on canvas | 87 x 140 cm 8 S

Security (3), 2008 | Oil on canvas | 87 x 140 cm

Security (4) , 2009 | Oil on canvas | 120 x 160 cm S E

Security (4), 2009 | Oil on canvas | 120 x 160 cm

Security (5) , 2009 | Oil on canvas | 90 x 120 cm 10 S

Security (5), 2009 | Oil on canvas | 90 x 120 cm

Security (6) , 2009 | Oil on canvas | 120 x 170 cm S E

Security (6), 2009 | Oil on canvas | 120 x 170 cm

Security (7) , 2008 | Oil on canvas | 130 x 130 cm 12 S

Security (7), 2008 | Oil on canvas | 130 x 130 cm

Security (8) , 2009 | Oil on canvas | 80 x 96 cm S E

Security (8), 2009 | Oil on canvas | 80 x 96 cm

Security (9) , 2008 | Oil on canvas | 120 x 160 cm 14 S

Security (9), 2008 | Oil on canvas | 120 x 160 cm

Security (10) , 2008 | Oil on canvas | 110 x 160 cm S E

Security (10), 2008 | Oil on canvas | 110 x 160 cm

Security (11) , 2009 | Oil on canvas | 80 x 96 cm 16 S

Security (11), 2009 | Oil on canvas | 80 x 96 cm

Security (12) , 2008 | Oil on canvas | 110 x 150 cm S E

Security (12), 2008 | Oil on canvas | 110 x 150 cm

Security (13) , 2009 | Oil on canvas | 120 x 160 cm 18 S

Security (13), 2009 | Oil on canvas | 120 x 160 cm

Security (14) , 2007 | Oil on canvas | 110 x 150 cm S E

Security (14), 2007 | Oil on canvas | 110 x 150 cm

Security (15) , 2008 | Oil on canvas | 109 x 150 cm 20 S

Security (15), 2008 | Oil on canvas | 109 x 150 cm

CHRONOLOGY

CHRONOLOGY Dinh Y Nhi Born 1967, Hanoi Bachelor of Fine Arts from Hanoi University of Fine

Dinh Y Nhi Born 1967, Hanoi

Bachelor of Fine Arts from Hanoi University of Fine Arts, 1989 Member of Vietnam Fine Arts Association

SELECTED ART EXHIBITIONS

1990

National Art Exhibition – Hanoi, Vietnam

1993

Asian Art Exhibition – Dhaka, Bangladesh

1995

Group exhibition at Itoyama Gallery – Tokyo, Japan

-

An Ocean Apart at Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition – USA

-

Solo show at Vietnam Fine Arts Association Gallery – Hanoi, Vietnam

1996

Group show at Museum Fujita – Tokyo, Japan

1997

Group show at the Contemporary Arts Exhibition Centre – Amsterdam, Netherlands

-

A Winding River at Meridian International Centre – Washington, USA

-

Group show at Centre Wallonie-Brixelles – Paris, France

-

Solo show at Mai Gallery – Hanoi, Vietnam

-

Solo show at Forum Schloss Platz – Aarau, Switzerland

1998

Group show at City Museum – Paris, France

-

Group show at Art Museum Bassano Del Grappa – Vincenza, Italy

-

Group show at Art Museum Busan – Busan, Korea

-

A Century of Vietnamese Modern Art – European Union Tour

1999

Solo show at Asian Fine Art Factory – Berlin, Germany

-

Solo show at the Goethe Institute – Hanoi, Vietnam

-

Solo show at Canvas International Arts – Amsterdam, Netherlands

-

Group show at Frankfurt Arts – Frankfurt, Germany

-

Group show at the University of the Philippines – Manila, Philippines

2000

Gallactica group show at Vietnam Fine Arts Association – Hanoi, Vietnam

2001

Solo show at Gallery 55 – Bangkok, Thailand

2002

Vietnam Art Actuel at the University of Montreal – Montreal, Canada

-

In Memory, the Art of Afterward at Sidney Mishkin Gallery – New York, USA

2003

Solo show at Art Vietnam Gallery – Hanoi, Vietnam

2005

Solo show at Gallery 55 – Shanghai, China

2006

Artists from Vietnam – Mumbai, India

2008

Changing Identities at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts – Salt Lake City, USA

2009

Solo show Security at Thavibu Gallery – Bangkok, Thailand

MUSEUM COLLECTIONS Singapore Art Museum National Art Gallery of Malaysia Vietnam Fine Art Museum

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